The Hitman's Bodyguard revolves around the world's top protection agent [Ryan Reynolds] who is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's most notorious hitmen [Samuel L. Jackson].
The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are coming together for an outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to the Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator [Gary Oldman]. Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson's equally notorious wife.
Ahead of its theatrical release on August 18, the critics have given their verdict about the movie. Here's what they have to say.
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson's foul-mouthed chemistry makes this high-concept action comedy a pleasant late-summer surprise.
"The Hitman's Bodyguard" is about as close to a live-action cartoon as you're likely to get this year — you know, the kind where someone blows a cannonball-shaped hole through Wile E. Coyote's abdomen or a stick of dynamite reduces him to a pile of cinders, and the next thing you know, he's up and chasing the Road Runner again.
The Hollywood Reporter
A couple of scenes that ironically employ soft-rock standards suggest that the filmmakers were shooting for a more smart-ass tone, but Atli Örvarsson's overheated score works strenuously against that effect, as does Hughes' pedestrian direction. The Hitman's Bodyguard offers more than enough shoot-'em-up to keep multiplex auds munching their popcorn, but sharper talents behind the camera might have made it considerably more enjoyable.
It's a pretty solid gimmick, with a bodyguard tasked with protecting a hitman. This is all a clothesline on which to hang violent action sequences and extended moments of Reynolds and Jackson getting on each other's nerves. Reynolds is the reactionary comic force this time around, the straight man if you will to Jackson's scenery-chewing antics.
The other key player here is stunt coordinator Greg Powell ("Avengers: Age of Ultron"), who offers both quality and quantity. Hughes' action sequences are mostly by the numbers, but when the film busts out a breathtaking chase through the Amsterdam canals – featuring boats, bridges, motorcycles and cars – it provides a much-needed injection of adrenaline to the proceedings.
"The Hitman's Bodyguard" is generic, to be sure, but as a mid-August air-conditioning delivery system, overheated viewers could certainly do worse.